Agile Metrics: A GQM Approach

WRITTEN BY John Tanner

When undertaking an Agile transformation, there is a need to collect data to demonstrate progress and show improvement, but where does one even start? Common Agile metrics approaches do well at measuring team velocity and throughput but can sometimes overlook the requirements of executive sponsors, product management, and other key stakeholders. This problem is often rooted in a lack of understanding about what business goals are driving decision making throughout the organization and what questions we should be answering with the metrics we collect.

The “Goal-Question-Metric” (GQM) approach is a proven method for driving goal-oriented measures throughout a software organization. With GQM, we start by defining the goals we are trying to achieve, then clarifying the questions we are trying to answer with the data we collect. By mapping business outcomes and goals to data-driven metrics, we can form a holistic picture of the Agile environment and clearly articulate how we are doing across the span of the enterprise.

During this session, we will explore the GQM approach and show its effectiveness in identifying the key information your enterprise needs to know at the Executive, Portfolio, Program, and Delivery tiers. We will provide example metric sets for each tier and explain the goals and questions that drove us to them. At the end of this talk, the audience will understand, not only how to ask the right questions, but specifically what metrics can be used to answer them.

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